You Breast Believe: Breastfeeding Is Hard!
To breast feed or not to breast feed that is the question.. When I asked my mom if she breastfed me when I was a babe she said it was really unpopular to do so at the time. She tried but apparently didn’t appreciate me trying to rip her nipple off and then barf all over her shirt as she was headed to a college presentation. As a matter of fact, non of my aunts breastfed any of us kids at the time. I found this to be so interesting as now days it seems like the #freethenipple movement and let those boobs breathe and feed your baby is all the rage.
With that being said, here is my personal journey with it and also some tips and resources for anyone needing a little extra help in that department.
I had a kid about three weeks ago. Yup! I did it!
Little Gage Hudson came reluctantly earth side after 24 hours of induction, a cord wrapped around his neck, and ultimately a c-sectioned forced evacuation. It was quite the experience. My favorite?…. not particularly but will I end up giving him a sibling?… yeah probably after I’ve had a few years to forget about being sober for 10 months, seeing red during contractions, and this bloody breastfeeding battle. The struggle is so real.
I read the books, I followed the insta bloggers, I googled just about everything I could think of to prepare me for breast-feeding, knowing that it was going to be harder than the posed Instagram pictures looked. Also, to throw a kicker in there, I had a breast reduction about 12 years ago and knew that might be an issue as well.
Things seemed to start off just fine, he seemed content, the breastfeeding consultants said everything was looking good, he was a great “latcher”.
I will have to remind him of this when he is bragging about his football skills or has a girl over he’s trying to impress… wait a min, scratch that second scenario, no need to give him any ideas..( insert face palm emoji)
Anyways, after three days of hospital spa treatments, we were able to head home. Terrifying but so welcomed-ish. After 36 hours of a pretty fussy baby that literally was hungry every minute I knew something was off. At our first pediatrician appointment I mentioned that I didn’t think he was getting enough food. By this time it had been five days since I’d had Gage and according to all my Google searches my milk should have come in by this point. I was pumping and not even getting a half ounce. She suggested that we supplement with formula. She was so kind as to give us a premed bottle in the office of which Gage chugged down like a Freshmen frat boy. If he could have taken a knee to add effect to how fast he chugged it he would have. He was immediately milk drunk and so content.
I immediately welled up with tears and had a full out waterworks on the car ride home with the realization that I had been starving my little human for almost TWO DAYS! #hormones #momfail
After pulling myself together and relieving myself of the mom guilt as much as I could. I decided to take action. I was going to try whatever I could to get these milk jugs to work. So back to the inter web. Here are some of the resources I found to be super helpful.
- The Haakaa! OMG not only did I have no idea this existed, but also I have to You Tube a video to see how to use it. This has been the best tool. You throw it on the breast not being milked during a feeding and it catches all the leakage. I have gotten more from this than any session of pumping to date.
- Legendary Milk: This Austin home grown company has vitamins that help with lactation support. All organic, natural ingredients and NO Fenugreek, which has been said to give you and baby gas. These products have helped also, I think. Honestly I’m pretty sure just about anything would help my situation at this point. They have TONS of rave reviews and their Instagram page is chalk full of mamas praising their products.
- La Leche League: This is a great resource for information on breastfeeding as well as support. They can also set you up with an in home consultation if need be.
- Moms Place Clinic: This is a great local resource as well for moms. They not only do lactation consultations, but also a list of other resources for you and baby.
- BFAR.org: This was a really nice resource for me as it relates to feeding after a breast augmentation. Lots of information on options, possible reasons why it may or may not be working, suggestions for helping the process and much more.
- Bfsuccess.com: This is another great lactation consultant resource in the Austin area. They have two offices and also offer in home visits as well. They work with a few different insurance programs and offer pump rentals and other great needs.
So there you have it. A few of my favorite resources to help you along your breastfeeding journey. I am about to the end of my breastfeeding journey as my supply just is not getting any better and I’ve come to the realization that I may just have low milk storage. I am not ready to fully give up my boob time with him yet, but I can’t say that I’m super disappointed about sharing nighttime feedings with the hubs.
My best advice as a mom: I had to swallow my dreams of breast feeding my babe exclusively, I realized a full baby is the best baby.
Bottom line. Don’t let the pressure to do or be one way or another knock you down. You know what works best for your life and you know what is best for your baby. There is nothing wrong with formula fed babies. Actually if you need to look for a silver lining formula babies stay full longer which results in more sleepy time at night for mom and dad. #winning